Gig review: Del Amitri, O2 Academy, Leeds

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It’s my old school friend Chris Clark who I have to thank.

He’s the one who introduced me to the band who have proved to be the sound track to my life for more than 20 years.

It was back in 1990 that he handed me a copy of Waking Hours and the rest, as they say, is history.

Fast forward to 2014 and all the memories come flooding back as Del Amitri are back on stage for the first time in a decade.

The 02 Academy in Leeds - the former T&C Club - is the venue for a two-hour musical journey which proves class is permanent as well as showcasing the group’s musicality and top notch songwriting.

The set kicks off with an energetic Always The Last To Know before moving seemlessly into Kiss This Thing Goodbye and The Ones That You Lead You Know, What I Think She Sees and Not Where It’s At.

A special acoustic interlude sees the pace slowed down thanks to Be My Downfall, Food For Songs, In The Frame and Tell Her This, made even more memorable thanks to audience support.

The hits keep on coming as Nothing Ever Happens, Roll To Me and Spit In The Rain roll back the years as does Hammering Heart from the band’s debut album in 1985.

The atmospheric Driving With The Brakes proves a crowd favourite while Drunk In A Band and Being Somebody Else plays to their rock credentials.

The encore kicks off with Lucky Guy, an song about infidelity, before moving onto Here And Now and the concert ends far too soon with the crowd-pleasing and emotional Move Away Jimmy Blue.

I didn’t spot my old friend Chris in the crowd but this gig reminded me of one thing - to make sure I say thank you to him next time we bump into each other.

Sparks last performed in Leeds in 1975. Picture: Philippe Mazzoni

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